Become a Certified Sexual Wellness Therapist (CSWT)

Certified Sexual Wellness Therapist (CSWT)

Clinicians with an interest in helping individuals understand sexual wellness and the interplay of desire, pleasure, arousal, intimacy and other issues related to sexual well-being may seek the CSWT level of certification.
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Certification Requirements

SASH maintains a standard that profesionals need core knowledge about human sexuality and specific skills training in various topics to effectively work with a client. The following represent the general requirements and the core knowledge prior to seeking the skills educational requirements. 
Current Membership in the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)
1. A graduate degree in a field of behavioral health (e.g., psychology, social work, counseling, marriage and family therapy) from an accredited university, a medical degree (including Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), or an advanced practice nursing degree.

2. At least one year of licensure to practice independently as a mental health provider (e.g, licensed clinical psychologist, licensed psychiatrist, licensed professional counselor, licensed mental health counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed clinical social work, licensed psychiatric nurse practitioner, or equivalent) at the masters or doctoral level.

3. If the applicant holds a degree from a non-accredited institution, or is practicing outside the United States or the United States territory, they will provide documentation to demonstrate that the education and licensure that they have obtained is functionally equivalent to these standards.
To be eligible for any of the SASH credentials, an individual must have coursework in the core knowledge areas listed below. These hours must be obtained from an accredited college or university, or alternatively from a continuing education organization, such as SASH, that is certified to provide CE credits from any of the approved organizations. At least ten (10) hours must be completed in-person or via synchronous e-learning.

Please note that the Credentialing Committee reserves the right to reject any educational credits, or to request additional education in any subject matter prior to awarding a certification

Human Sexuality Core Knowledge Areas

1. Sexual Development, Anatomy, Physiology, and Reproduction
a. Sexual development across the life-span from a biological, psychological and social perspective
b. Sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology
c. Sexual response cycle and models of sexual desire
d. Theories explaining individual differences in sexuality
e. Conception and childbirth

2. Sexual Health Challenges
a. The influence of health and medical factors on sexuality (e.g., illness and infection, disability, mental health, medications, contraception and safer sex practices, fertility struggles, pregnancy and childbirth, pregnancy termination, sexually                            transmitted infection, physical injuries)
b. Sexual functioning challenges and dysfunctions (e.g.. discrepancy in partner desire, absence of desire, difficulties attaining or sustaining arousal, difficulties with sexual pain and penetration, and orgasm difficulties
c. The interaction of substance use/abuse and sexuality
d. Sexually transmitted infections
e. Sexual trauma (e.g., exploitation, abuse, harassment, and assault)
f. Multiple theories of problematic sexual behavior

3. Sexual Identity and Erotic Expression
a. Sexual orientation
b. Gender identity and gender roles
c. Diverse sexual expressions and lifestyles (eg. consensual non-monogamy, tantra, BDSM)
d. Social, economic, cultural, religious/spiritual, and familial factors influencing sexual behaviors and values
e. The interaction of technology and sexuality 
f. Pleasure enhancement skills, techniques, and tools

4. Intimacy and Relationships
a. Relationship dynamics and intimacy skills
b. Sexual communication between partners
c. Negotiating differences in sexual desire, interests, preferences, and values between partners
d. Models of effective communication (eg, verbal and non-verbal communication)

5. Professional Development
a. Ethics
b. Professional communication skills (concerning clients, colleagues, and students)
c. History of the research, theory, and treatment concerning human sexuality
d. Methods and principles of sexuality research
e. Careers in sexual health
To be eligible for any of the SASH credentials, an individual must have completed a group experience of no less than ten clock hours in which the individual processes, explores, and reevaluates their own beliefs, feelings, values, attitudes and trauma involving the topic of human sexuality and human sexual behavior. The experience may be done over multiple sessions, but each session must be conducted for a minimum of three (3) clock hours and must be conducted in a group setting.

For the experience to count as credit towards a credential, it must not have been conducted in the course of personal therapy. If the experience was conducted in the course of academic work the participant must show that it was experiential in nature and not a lecture-based learning exercise The individual must be a participant in the experience, and not a facilitator.
1. Complete a minimum of seventy (70) total hours of training in sexual wellness, dysfunction (physical and mental), and pleasure enhancement in the past five (5) years. At least thirty-five (35) hours of this training must be completed in person or via synchronous video e-learning. The remaining may be completed either in person, or via distance learning. These hours must be obtained from an accredited college or university, or alternatively from a continuing education organization that is certified to provide CE credits from any of the approved organizations (See approved educational providers tab #4 below). Please note that the SASH Credentialing Committee reserves the right to reject any educational credits or to request additional education in any subject matter prior to awarding a certification,

This training must meet the following minimum requirements:

a. Theories and methods of sex therapy relating to sexual wellness and functioning
b. Assessment and diagnosis of psychosexual disorders
c. Relationship intervention for problems implicating sex and intimacy
d. Sex therapy intervention techniques must include the following topic areas but can include others:
i. Arousal disorders
li. Desire disorders
ii. Orgasmic disorders
iv. Paraphilic disorders
v. Pain and discomfort (e.g., Vaginismus, Dyspareunia)
vi. Medical and disability concerns and sexuality
e. Limits of competence, ethics, legal concerns, and standards of care for sexual functioning and wellness therapy
*Training in only one treatment methodology is not sufficient to fully meet these requirements.

2. Complete a minimum of three hundred-fifty (350) hours of direct clinical intervention with individuals or family members affected by problematic sexual behavior.

3. Complete at least thirty (30) hours of clinical supervision of treatment for problematic sexual behavior.
   a. Supervision may be conducted by any CSWT Supervisor
   b. Supervision may be conducted by someone who is a recognized expert in this subject matter who is not a predesignated CSWT supervisor, as approved by SASH on a case by case basis. To have such a supervisor approved, the applicant must  submit a Supervisor Special Request letter, along with a copy of the supervisor's vita and a statement of the qualifying nature of the supervision
   c. A minimum of fifteen (15) hours must be completed in individual (one on one) supervision. Two individuals in supervision              can be counted toward individual supervision.
   d. The remaining supervision can occur in groups no larger than six (6) supervisees.
1. At least 30 CEs completed every two (2) years,

   a. All credits must be CE approved by an organization on the SASH credential approved list.
   b. A minimum of five (5) hours in general sexual health.
   c. A minimum of twenty (20) hours in sexual functioning and wellness training. However, if the applicant has multiple SASH specialty credentials, this requirement shall be reduced to fifteen (15) hours.
   d. A minimum of five (5) hours in ethical and legal concerns,

2.Current membership in the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).

Certification FAQs

SASH maintains a standard that profesionals need core knowledge about human sexuality and specific skills training in various topics to effectively work with a client. The following represent the general requirements and the core knowledge prior to seeking the skills educational requirements.
Applicants that are interested in more than one certification and have the qualifications to apply for two or more at the same time will receive ⅓ off the second and sequential applications. The discount only applies to those applicants applying to more than one certification at the same time.

Recipients of 3 SASH Clinical Certifications are Automatically Awarded the Distinguished Sex Therapist (DST) Certification which represent the highest level of experience and knowledge in the industry
Yes, You can split the time between different requirements (e.g. 30 min towards anatomy and physiology, 30 min towards sexual health concerns etc.). However, you cannot use the same training twice.
Each application is reviewed by the credentialing committee. All applications with complete documentation will be reviewed within 30 days of receipt. Applications that lack all the necessary paperwork to process the application will experience delays. When additional requirements are requested by the committee, the applicant should seek to fulfill those requests in a timely manner. Items left unfulfilled may require the applicant to resubmit. Open applications that are incomplete will be kept open for a period of six (6) months. After that timeframe the applicant may be required to resubmit.
It depends, training that meets the credential training requirements may be eligible if the training is approved by a continuing education certifying body. Due to the diverse nature of each credential not all hours may be credited toward credential requirements. The committee will review all submitted education and training and if necessary, will request additional information to complete the application process.

Training organizations approved by the following continuing education certifying bodies likely meet the educational requirements of the individual certifications offered by SASH. It is the responsibility of the training organization offering continuing education to maintain their status as an approved provider from these organizations.

• American Psychological Association (APA)
• Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
• National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC- ACEP)
• National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
• Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB-ACE)
• Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT)
• NAADAC-The Association for Addiction Professionals
• Local and state government organizations
• SASH Continuing Education Provider or Qualified Single Course Provider for SASH Credential CE’s
Any training can be submitted and is subject to review by the credentialing committee. Trainings must be verifiable.  If there are specific questions related to training credits please contact SASH by writing the Credential Committee at [email protected]
The SASH annual conference is an excellent place to obtain hours and some sessions have a designation that identifies which education requirements are met by attending. SASH is only one place where hours can be obtained. There are other organizations that offer training meeting the education requirements. If you aren't sure, contact SASH for clarification.
You will be notified by the SASH Credential Committee once all documentation has been received and processing has begun.
Search the online directory of approved supervisors using the specific supervisor "credential type" as the keyword.
Find a Supervisor
You can submit a Qualified Exemption letter to the Credential Committee requesting that your hours apply to the desired certification. The letter will detail how you meet the different education and training requirements as well as professional practice in the field for each desired certification.
File a formal written complaint about a credential holder to [email protected]
Problematic Sexual Behavior is an a-theoretical term that describes behaviors which conflict with values, commitments, creates consequences, control is impaired, or violates rules of sexual responsibility.
Sexual Wellness is the ability of an individual to thrive in their own sexuality. This invokes knowledge of their own sexuality as well as the absence of dysfunction and the pursuit of pleasure.
Trauma is any life event that shatters fundamental assumptions of how the world works and one's relationship to the world.

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